COUNSELING is the art of lifting up a person from his sagging morale and filling him with hope, optimism, energy and the capacity to bounce back, to start all over again from scratch. Counseling is an exploration into his own mind , to find out what is agitating him, the problems and solutions, by the client , assisted by the counselor. You have two options, to swim or drown.
SELF RELIANCE A counselee should depend on himself. He should not depend on the counselor. Counseling is the art of teaching a person to lean on himself. As a house stands on the pillars, you should depend on yourself. The client should not lean on the psychologist. The client should prop up himself.
SWEET CONSOLING PRESENCE. The counselor’s presence should be comforting . Build a rapport through empathy, sympathy and compassion. The client should trust, feel comfortable and be ready to open up. CONFIDENTIALITY. The interaction with the client must be kept absolutely confidential. Nothing should be done to affect his client’s self esteem and confidence.
ACTIVE, PATIENT LISTENING. The counselor should listen to the patient with minimum or optimum intervention. He may ask the right questions to help the patient to understand his problems and to find a solution. Our effort should be to understand the patient, not to judge or interpret according to our subjective moral standards. We must accept him as he is or as she is. We should not ask why but what happened, what can be done, what are the options, solution or the available best solution.
CLIENT CENTRED & NON-DIRECTED. The total well being of the client should be given primary importance. The client should be encouraged to find out his various options. The client must arrive at his own best option. There is no universal solution for a particular problem. But there is a solution. CLIENT AUTONOMY. It is a journey or an exploration into the problems of a person . The client should be encouraged to open up. The agenda and the responsibility to find a pragmatic solution should be given to the client. What is needed is the client’s solution, not the counselor’s solution. If the counselor takes a decision for the client , the client will not become self reliant. When there is a small problem, he will rush to the counselor. If the client cannot find a quick fix solution, he should be given more time to explore additional options. Priority should be given to the client’s well being.
JUSTICE & FAIRNESS. The counselor should maintain very high moral principles, must be free , fair and impartial. With fidelity and responsibility, with optimum intervention, the client should be able to make informed judgments and choices. The counselor may fill the desperate client with hope and optimism. From the beginning to end, there should be a progressive reduction in the counselor’s support to the client. The client’s capacity to take an independent decision, his ability to lean on himself should never be underestimated. Without preference, prejudice or judgment, effort must be made to see things through the client’s eyes.
Fill the desperate with hope. Help the frustrated to see things in a new light with enormous optimism. Tell the lonely to come out of their social isolation and to mix with the society. It is dangerous to stay alone. Activate and motivate them to plunge into action. Play with a pet. Plant a tree. Tell them miracles can happen. A new dawn will bloom. While there is life, there is hope. MATHEW D. PARAMUNDA